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Lock, Stock and Two Rusting Barrels

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Posted: 01 May 2014 | 6:00 am

Just this morning God called, but the connection was bad so we quickly turned to SMS over my first shot of caffeine for the day. It seems, he explained in very few characters, that I have not been using enough references to real estate in my columns. So barring a quick trip to the confessional or at least the nearest men's room, I snapped off a quick selfie with my stunning latte and got stuck into the task at hand.

It's a smoking hot day as I now sit frying like crispy bacon in a car with an air-conditioner that is blowing more hot air then Bara.ck Obama.

The taxi driver insists on keeping the windows rolled up, just in case l take a suicide dive. Yet here we are, stuck at a chronic red light at the intersection of truth or dare.

My battered time machine has created alternative realities where at times it's hard to decide whether we are winding back the clock to the glam-fad days of the 1970s or have yet to evolve from monkeys. The jury is still out on that one, but thankfully, disco is dead (certainly good confirming that on a regular basis).

Real estate circa 2014 is sitting next to me at the same four-way intersection with the engine on idle. Steam is rising from the streets and I can't quite make out who is driving given those ultra tinted windows. Whoever it is, they have taken to the road in a drastic, plastic Korean vehicle that looks like road kill from a Transformers sequel.

Ever since the bad, bad wolf known as the global financial meltdown, developers have been keen to pimp their rides and focus on small and cheap. They've lost their obsessive compulsion with quality over quantity and now it's purely a numbers game. Even in the luxury space, which is damned expensive, faux celebrity and branding have eclipsed the push for a long lasting labour of love.

While show villas, condominiums and flashy, pointy buildings glitter from top to bottom, there is little attention paid to making these visions of beauty last. Sadly, craftsmanship seems now to be the domain of stoic Swiss watchmakers or the vessels of perma-tanned billionaire sailors on a voyage to the melanoma ward.

We want, we like, we buzz all at the same time, and when the batteries fail on our smartphones, with the flick of a switch a second or third phone emerges from nowhere. It's all about quantity and never mind getting run over by Mad Max in that Korean SUV, next month he will move up to a newer model.

Forget about rust never sleeping, there is not even time for rust to set in. As the boom flattens, and the dust settles in the coming decade, both real estate buyers and developers may have to look into the mirror - if it hasn't disintegrated the first month after handover - and look to the past for lessons learned.

Fads will fade and size does matter, but quality always makes a great dinner companion.

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